Global packaging company expands

London-based DS Smith, a global packaging provider, has grown its North American footprint, having acquired Interstate Resources, Corrugated Container Corp. and The Display Connection in recent years. In June 2019, the company also opened a new North American headquarters in Atlanta.

Toby Earnest, director of recycling for DS Smith North America, says 2019 was a “big year” for the company, which expanded its North American leadership team and footprint. The company broke ground on a 500,000-square-foot box plant in Lebanon, Indiana, in January 2019, he says.

DS Smith’s next milestone will be opening a recycling facility in Reading, Pennsylvania, this year, Earnest says, adding that more growth across the U.S. is planned in 2020.

The new recycling facility complements the company’s existing paper mills and its box plant in Reading, Earnest says.

“We’ve operated a paper mill and box plant in Reading for several years,” he adds. “That affords us the perfect opportunity and location to have a recycling facility.”

Earnest says the 52,000-square-foot Reading recycling plant will operate like a paper packing facility, collecting double-lined kraft (DLK), old corrugated containers (OCC), several high grades of recovered fiber and pulp substitutes from local shopping centers, third-party haulers and nearby packaging companies. The company has installed conveyor systems at the facility, which features sorting stations and a baler manufactured by Cordele, Georgia-based Harris, he says.

Much of the fiber processed at the company’s recycling plant is expected to be consumed at the Reading 100-percent-recycled-medium mill and at other DS Smith mills. Earnest says the Reading location is “close enough to the ports” so the company also can export to its overseas distribution channels.

“We’re happy to get that plant started … we’re excited for the potential it has,” Earnest says.